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Yoho National Park

Emerald Lake, Yoho National Park (Canada) - July 2017

As a map suggests, Yoho National Park is pretty much just a much smaller, British Columbian extension of Banff National Park on the western side of the Continental Divide. The scenery is every bit as dramatic, and some fairly tight regulations at key spots means it’s spared much of Banff’s crowds.

Yoho gets its name from the Cree word for “wonder”, which perfectly sums up the grandeur of its mountains, lakes and waterfalls. It’s bisected by the Trans-Canada (Hwy-1) and a railroad which both travel some 80km as they climb from Lake Louise over the Kicking Horse Pass and drops down the broad, glacial Kicking Horse River valley down to the town of Golden, BC. Various road-side trailheads provide access to good short but scenic trails.

The only settlement, Field, BC, has the park centre, services and accommodation, which is also available at several other busier hubs: Lake O’Hara (reservations required); the Yoho Valley and Emerald Lake, from which radiate most of the park’s magnificent trails.

Practical Info Practical Info icon

Adult day pass $10; annual pass to all Canadian National Parks $69; discounts for kids, seniors, families and groups.

Emerald Lake

Yoho's most accessible large lake

Field, BC

Cutest mountain village in the Rockies

Iceline & Whaleback Trails

Superb trails with awe-inspiring views (6hrs/17k/hard)

Lake O’Hara

Gorgeous lake & mountain scenery: but limited access

Takakkaw Falls

Spectacular falls, easily reached (20mins/1.3km/easy)

Truffle Pigs Bistro

Slick lodge & quirky mountain bistro (b,l,d; $$)

Yoho National Park Visitor Centre

Yoho's park info & permit centre

Yoho Valley

Yoho's backpacking heaven

Text © Christian Williams

Image by SridharSaraf